Google is unveiling a slew of accessibility improvements across its products, making everyday tasks more manageable for people with disabilities. In response to these initiatives, we’ve outlined the key updates to keep you informed.
Google Maps has received an update that introduces screen reader support for the “Search with Live View” feature. This allows visually impaired users to utilize their smartphone’s camera to identify nearby places, such as ATMs and public transport stations. Wheelchair users will also benefit from a new feature that helps find wheelchair-friendly shopping routes. Moreover, Google plans to identify businesses owned by individuals with disabilities on Search and Maps.
For Android Auto users, Google Maps now provides information about wheelchair accessibility, making it easier to find accessible restrooms and parking. These places will be marked with a distinctive icon.
In the realm of Android devices, Google is expanding the functionality of Action Blocks, which enables users to create customizable shortcuts for Assistant Routines. You can now set images for shortcuts and adjust their size on the home screen.
Additionally, Google Chrome on desktops introduced an auto-suggestion feature for URLs, even when users make typos in their search queries. This feature is now being extended to Chrome on Android and iOS devices, enhancing the browsing experience.
For Pixel device owners, Google has rolled out a new magnifier app developed in partnership with organizations like the Royal National Institute of Blind People. The app helps users read text in various settings, change contrast and brightness, and zoom in on images. It’s especially handy for scenarios like viewing distant performers at concerts and keeping track of changing information at airports.
Furthermore, Google’s Guided Frames app, designed to assist visually impaired users in taking selfies, now recognizes objects like pets, food, and text. The app offers audio guides, high-contrast animations, and haptic feedback. This feature is available for Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users and will be extended to Pixel 6 and later devices later this year.